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Posted on Mar 13, 2015

Quick-thinking ditchrider returns lost bag of money to local church

As a ditchrider for the Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District, Rosario Dominguez has found many interesting items along the irrigation ditches and country back roads near Quincy.

“A lot of things I can’t even say,” joked Dominguez, who has worked with the irrigation district for six years.

But on Monday, as the 33-year-old was driving along Highway 28 near Road P, he noticed what was clearly a bank deposit bag in the middle of the road. It was in a highly visible spot and could have been noticed by anyone, he said.

“I was going 50 mph, but I knew what it was,” Dominguez said.

When he turned his truck around and picked the bag up off the pavement, he opened it, hoping to discover who the bag belonged to. Inside was about $3,200 in cash and checks.

Doing a little grassroots detective work, Dominguez immediately got to work trying to determine who the bag belonged to.

He noticed one of the checks was written by a woman with the same last name as his neighbor. When he called his neighbor to run the name by him, the woman turned out to be his neighbor’s mother, Dominguez said. She said she had written the check out to her local church.

Case solved, Dominguez turned the money over to his neighbor and the money was back in the church’s hands quickly.

Meanwhile, the lost money had been reported to the Quincy Police Department. The bag had fallen off the top of a vehicle after the owner forgot it was there, Sgt. Chris Lafferty of the Quincy Police Department said.

With news that the money was found, the police department sent out a press release, commending Dominguez for his actions.

“(Dominguez) returned the money without thought of reward, and could have easily kept it,” the press release reads. “The Quincy Police Department would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Dominguez for his sense of integrity and responsibility. It is people like you, Mr. Dominguez, who better our community.”

Also thanking Dominguez is Dave Ovenell, a member of the church that was the recipient of Dominguez’s quick thinking and honesty.

“Thank you, Mr. Dominguez, for your honesty and for going to the trouble of locating where the bank bag belonged,” said Ovenell, who also called Dominguez to thank him personally.

What does Dominguez think of the attention he’s getting this week?

He’s not the type of guy who would have kept the money, Dominguez said. That’s because he knows how he would have felt if he were on the other end of the unfortunate mishap.

“If I would have lost that kind of money, I would have freaked out,” Dominguez said.

Still, Dominguez’s actions restore a person’s faith in people while also representing the spirit of a small community, Lafferty said.

“It just goes to show what type of community we live in,” the police sergeant said. “This community is full of Good Samaritans like Rosario.”


— By Jill FitzSimmons,